Federer feeling the weight of "monster" on his back
Roger Federer admits the pressure to win and keep on winning can sometimes be a massive burden.
25 January 2008
MELBOURNE - "I've created a monster, I know I need to always win every tournament," said Roger Federer after falling in Friday's Australian Open semi-final 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) to Novak Djokovic.
"But semis is still, it's pretty good. I'll analyze and see if I have to make changes for next year.
"But, honestly, I think I did play pretty good. I didn't play my best throughout the championships, but it was pretty solid, so it was okay."
The Swiss missed out on reaching a record 11th straight Grand Slam final as he took his first loss in straight sets since 2004.
"Winning (titles) every other week, lose a set and people say I'm playing bad. So it's my own mistake, I guess."
The number one admitted that his preparation - dealing with a stomach virus instead of playing during the week before the major - was hardly ideal.
"The approach has been unique this year, it's the first time I've been ill before a Grand Slam. But I would still rather have it before than during, that's for sure.
"It might have had an effect on my movement, I don't know. But I definitely didn't feel as quick as some other times.
"I practised really hard, I can't practise much harder in the off season. I did everything the right way.
"Maybe I did pay the price for being a little bit ill.
"But I like to give credit to my opponent, as well. I don't want to blame it too much on my own play.
"He came up with the shots at the right time, and that's all I can say really."
[Copyright dpa 2008]